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Wesley Stop

Gen. Clark and the neocon view. Russert potatoes. Al Qaeda/Iraq. Planned Parenthood's contortions. Plus more.

9.25.03

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KNOWING BETTER
Re: John Corry's Two Cheers for Wesley Clark:

While I have no argument with John Corry's conclusion that the good General Wesley Kanne Clark "is not a girly-boy," I find his egregious shot at the "neocons" unworthy of someone who probably knows better. That judgment is not only tiresome, but also smacks of the Bush is a dolt but clever enough to con large numbers of people (including "peace loving" Democrats) into waging war; Bush, the dolt, was too slow to act on intelligence about the threat of a 9/11, but too fast to lance the boil of terrorism in one of its bases of support (Saudi Arabia, Syria et al to come, despite State Dept nonsense); and, Bush, the dolt, revealed, for all to see, the nefarious, double-dealing, no-account UN (that exists by the grace of the American taxpayer) crowd. Of course, Dubya is just a "tool" of the neocons. By the way, there was no UN resolution for the war in Kosovo, the extent of "ethnic cleansing" there pales by comparison with the mass graves being uncovered in Iraq, and Milosevic (like Saddam?) posed no imminent threat to the U.S. And so, I guess that the previous POTUS was a "tool" of who?...our continental European "friends"?

Come on, John, had Billy Boy not been "occupied elsewhere" during his tenure, 9/11 most likely would not have happened. The neocons, indeed!
-- P.A. Melita
Charlottesville, VA

I am baffled by John Corry's claim that the neocons were "wrong" about Iraq. Virtually everything they said has come true, and continues to come true.

1) The Iraqis, on the whole, did indeed welcome us as liberators. The fact that you could get as many soldiers killed policing Watts as you could in Tikrit doesn't seem to me to equate "failure" of the slightest kind. It means that in any occupation, there are dangers.

2) We just passed a week in which there was not a single American death. That was followed by a couple, then by more days without any. The ratio of deaths-per-day has now grown to deaths-per-every-four or five days. And it will continue to move in this direction until Iraq looks like the DMZ in Korea just after the armistice. By the way, a little research would show that the airborne units policing Austria in 1945 lost 30 men in 31 days, or, about the same numbers was we lost in the first month of the Iraq police action.

3) Ah, the WMDs. First, I think there will be a report before long that will categorize plenty of these things found inside Iraq. The fact that there were thousands of gas suits, hollow-tube artillery shells, and strange stuff in the Euphrates River all suggests that Saddam had the stuff, and not long ago. But I think it also likely that much of it was shipped out to Syria in the months before hostilities. Remember, the crux of this was vials and small boxes, plus mobile labs, not acres of pre-made gas in storage barrels.

4) Overall, I don't think any military person with any sense (this, obviously, eliminates Clark) would have thought what we did in Iraq possible, especially with such few losses and with such good results. Corry has been watching too much CNN. Maybe he ought to read some of the letters from Marines that I've seen.
-- Larry Schweikart
Professor of History
University of Dayton

Does it make much sense for a man to complain of the evil "neocon" invasion of Iraq while at the same time applauding a man for his brilliant military campaign in a completely unilateralist, Congressional-less, UN-less, totally unrelated to U.S. security bombing of Kosovo? Sure, our soldiers are getting hurt in Iraq. But Wesley Clark wanted to use ground troops in Kosovo. In bashing the neocons on Iraq it appears that Corry gave wholesale approval to something worse-- the unhinged, arrogant bombing of a country that had nothing to do with U.S. security.

Is that how far "neocon" critics are going to go? Because if Corry were acting on his principles, he'd hate Clark every bit as much as he does the neocons that started a so-called quagmire in Iraq. While Corry can scoff at Bush's logic for invading Iraq, it is a logic that makes infinitely more sense than our adventure in Kosovo. But that somehow makes Clark a hero.

Corry needs to try thinking clearly once in a while and refrain from letting his hatred of the "neocons" get the better of him. He seems to write only to bash "neocons." That's pretty childish.
-- James Yerian
Athens, Ohio

I used to like reading Corry but will no longer. He has been against the Iraq war since the beginning and derogatorily characterizes anyone who disagrees with him as some "neocon." C'mon; get real, John. You cannot possibly argue that Iraq was better before the U.S. action. You seem to be the type who hopes that another attack comes to this country so that you can say: "I told you so." Thank the Lord that you are not in any position of authority in this country. Maybe I'll see you at the next Dean or Clark protest rally.
-- James Siegler
New York, NY

Prima donnas can be forgiven if they can sing, and I don't think that
Clark's record shows that he can.
-- John Schuh

RUSSERT TO JUDGMENT
Re: James Bowman's There's No Evidence:

Yeah, that gotcha! regarding the supposed differences between statements of Bush and Cheney has been bugging me since I saw Russert taking on Safire. What it amounted to was saying the same thing using different words. Now that's a feather in Russert's cap. Thanks to James Bowman for pointing it out.
-- Dale Mader

I know it is tough to watch these talking heads, but can you imagine if these heads were on TV during the buildup for WWII? What would these guys be saying about Hitler in 1939? How about imbedded journalists landing on Normandy? Can you imagine the TV programs explaining 6,000 casualties in 3 hours?

Thank God it is 2003 and we have 120 channels to turn to, and Internet and talk radio. Can you imagine having only 3 TV stations today? Russert prepares for 3 hours for each program. It takes him 2 hours, 59 minutes to find Gotcha questions to ask. The rest of his preparation is for the more positive questions. I stopped watching him, ABC, NBC and CNN two years ago.
-- Kenneth Parady
Gr. Rapids, MI

James Bowman's article was the most absurd twist of facts to defend the Bush Administration. To quote your article; "Excuse me once again, but saying that we don't have any evidence of a connection is not the same as saying that there was no connection".

If you do not have the evidence, then why make the connection at all? Making a connection without evidence is irresponsible, misleading and strongly implies a connection. No wonder 70% of the American people believe there was a connection. This was a way of lying to the American people by not lying ("White House aides will tell you that Mr. Bush never made that charge directly"). This is how disinformation campaigns are run.

The evidence you cite are rumors from unreliable sources not substantiated by our intel agencies. The Bush Administration with the support of the Weekly Standard was hungry for this war. Lies, misleading information, distortion of evidence, and No WMD put you on the defensive to defend a failed policy with blood on your hands. How do you sleep at night?
-- Steven DeSalvo
Somerset, NJ

In speaking with a moderate acquaintance of mine, his objection to the Cheney "Meet the Press" interview was Cheney's references to the Prague meeting between Atta and Iraqi intelligence officials. This guy told me that that story has been debunked by various intelligence sources and that Atta is now known to have been elsewhere at the time of the supposed Prague meeting. I did some Googling and found that he appears to have a valid point, and that the Prague intel was confirmed to be false by former CIA director Woolsey and others.

So, what's the latest? Has that Prague business been sufficiently debunked, or am I missing something? And if it has been debunked, why is Cheney continuing to refer to it?
-- Jim Gysin

POLITICAL GENERAL
Re: Jed Babbin's September SGO and Clinton's General:

I have recently read a couple of things by Mr. Babbin on Gen. (ret) Clark. First, my disclaimer. I have never served with Gen. Clark. I was too young for Vietnam and both as an enlisted solder, and an officer, I have fought to stay in troop units. Airborne Infantry, Ranger infantry and Special Forces as an EM, and Air Assault Infantry and SF as an Officer. I have never served, in 30 years, at a lever higher than Brigade or regimental.

Rumblings from my friends and peers say this about Clark: that he has only served three and one-half years in troop units (units at brigade level and lower). While he was decorated for valor in RVN, I would like to speak to his soldiers -- especially his Platoon Sergeant about how he treated them in that war. While many say that he has no political experience, he is far more of a perfumed prince than a warrior. He may not be ready for the scrap and tumble of presidential politics, but he has far more political experience from where I sit than he has military experience.
-- Jim Gierlach

PLANNED CONTORTIONS
Re: George Neumayr's Planned Parenthood's Latest Casualty:

After reading George Neumayr's article on Planned Parenthood, I clicked on the hotlink that took me to that organization's website. I was horrified yet fascinated by the literary contortions performed by the writers of this website.

For example, the site notes that, during an abortion procedure called vacuum aspiration, "a tube is inserted through the cervix into the uterus. A hand-held instrument gently empties the uterus." Gently empties the uterus? Sounds better than "sucks living fetal tissue out of your body, which may cause you to cramp and bleed for a couple of weeks -- and second-guess this decision for the rest of your life", I suppose.

And what do you do when your lauded founder, Margaret Sanger, has a messy history of involvement in eugenics and racist teachings -- or, as it's stated on the website, "Sanger also entertained some popular ideas of her own time that are out of keeping with our thinking today"? Why, you devote an entire fact sheet -- long and footnoted -- that explains it all away. (Interestingly, substitute "Hitler" for Sanger in the above-quoted PP sentence, and you'll have fresh insight into that whole messy Nazi thing.)

All in all -- the entire website is one big gushy warm hug, designed to make everyone feel okay about a decision about which very few ever rarely feel okay.

But that's what puzzles me: if PP really believes that there should be no shame attached to abortion, why do they hide behind all the carefully worded phrases and constant, nearly patriotic reminders that "it's your right"? Since their mission statement includes the idea that "Reproductive freedom (is) the fundamental right of every individual to decide freely and responsibly when and whether to have a child," why don't they just say "If you freely and responsibly decide to NOT have that child growing inside you, we will kill it for you so that that's no longer a problem"?

I mean, isn't that what they're actually saying, when you take away the gushy warm hug?
-- Judy McDonough
Nashville, TN

The incredible thing about this whole issue about abortion, parental notification and decisions by children to support the murder performed by Planned Parenthood and their doctors is that my two senators (and many more like them) support these murderous ways even if they wouldn't allow any of their children or grandchildren near an abortionist for advise (if they have children/grandchildren).

The truly infuriating thing is that these people (senators in Washington) help create laws that they would never "take advantage of" so they can stay in political power through the vote of people who refuse to take responsibility for their actions and decisions in life.

Mikulski and Sarbanes legislate murder, somebody's little girl dies, and there is no way to hold the child, the abortionists or the senators accountable for their actions. The girl is dead, the abortionists are paid and the senators are still in power because they vote to support a woman's right to choose to murder a little baby that had no say in the whole process.

Is anyone crying?
-- Stu Margrey
Denton, MD

SOUND BARRIERS
Re: Francis X. Rocca's Constitutionally Unchristian:

"Common sense suggests that the E.U., an unprecedented experiment in uncoerced supranational governance, and therefore dependent on the voluntary suppression of patriotism and national interest, can't succeed unless it appeals to some deeper impulse than the desire to eliminate trade barriers."

I asked an Englishman I met on a train in Italy this: "Why would England, the creator of the most successful governmental form in history, willingly bind itself to Italy, which has had tens of government since WWII?" He visibly winced, shrugged and said that the British politicians and media had ceaselessly badgered Britons, telling them that the vote to enter the EU was a tiny step, would do very little. After the Brits voted in the EU, the government suddenly declared all these massive changes were going to happen...and it was too late to stop it. You voted for it.

Many European countries are in similar ways lying and bullying their people into joining the EU. My guess is, after a few years, nations will get out of it, and it will be left only with France, Germany, and the poorer nations.

Why? Because there is no deep appeal, and because nationalism is a
ferocious sentiment.
-- Catherine Johnson

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